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The BC Cell Phone Ban is an Unconstutional Power Grab by ICBC to Avoid Paying Out Claims

Posted by pwl on January 5, 2010

On Jan 1st, 2010 the British Columbia Cell Phone and electronic device ban came into effect.

This cell phone ban really isn’t about making the roads any safer. It’s really just about ICBC having an easier time to prosecute people so that they don’t have to do any actual hard work of proving driver distraction in each case as they did last week.

Now ICBC can just magically say that you were distracted without having to actually prove it in your case. That makes their job so much easier that it’s not funny. As a bonus ICBC won’t have to pay for your claim since you’re guilty of a crime by default if you were using a device in your car.

One reason that this law is unconstitutional is that in Canada we have the right to be presumed innocent until we are proven guilty (“11(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty …”). This cell phone ban attempts to by pass this important constitutional protection and place the burden upon us saying that we are guilty of diminished capacity just because we were using a cell phone in our hands rather than in a speaker mode. In effect we’ll have to prove that were are not guilty of the assumed crime of diminished capacity or loss of focus or however they magically word it in sly tongued legalese.

Further “15 (1) Every individual [in Canada] is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination”. Unfortunately this law unjustly creates exceptions that are an arbitrary discrimination magically allowing certain categories of people to have special privileges that the rest of us don’t have or can’t obtain. As such this cell phone and device ban is unconstitutional.

This is simply a move by ICBC to shift the burden of proof from them to us. It’s about money and streamlining their legal process. This is a very serious power grab that violates the Canadian Constitution on a number of grounds.

This is really the wrong solution since it violates basic legal due process and assumes we are guilty of a crime based upon bogus evidence that some people are easily distracted in some circumstances.

By the logic employed by this law and ICBC airline pilots should be banned from using any electronic devices while flying. It also means that anyone operating a boat or ship or water craft isn’t permitted to use their radios, cell phones, or navigation equipment. If your dash board is an electronic display is it now illegal to view your dash board by the flawed logic of the line of thinking behind this law? Yes, you might be distracted viewing your gps or speed or gas gauge but the fact is that unless you are *actually* distracted by it you’ve committed no fault in attention to the road except that this law says that you have by default. This cell phone driving ban is beyond stupidity and must be overturned.

Driving is the management of a lot of factors. Part of that is where you place your attention and to keep your attention where it needs to be. Being responsible means keeping control of the situation.

Revoking our constitutional rights in an attempt to enforce better driving habits is a fools folly (as bad drivers will still be bad drivers) and a dangerous step furthering Big Brother control systems. This is a dark time in BC for sure.

See Police State Deepens in British Columbia with Anti-Cell Phone Laws .

3 Responses to “The BC Cell Phone Ban is an Unconstutional Power Grab by ICBC to Avoid Paying Out Claims”

  1. Larson said

    Speaking of fools…you really seem to be one. Having lost a daughter to someone talking on a cell phone, in the rain, while driving on a dark road, I can tell you that this law has helped me sleep better. Knowing that my second daughter might in fact get to be 20 feels wonderful.

  2. pwl said

    Well Larson using an ad hominem personal attack by calling me a fool is a great way to loose your point before you’ve made it. It shows your lack of ability to converse without using personal insults.

    I’m sorry to hear that you lost your daughter.

    I hope that your second daughter has a very long, productive and life with her freedoms intact. Clearly she needs to be protected from those that would restrict her and our freedoms.

    Punishing everyone for the bad driving of a few bad apples doesn’t make sense especially when it’s a violation of our fundamental rights and freedoms.

    There already is a section of the law for dealing with paying attention while driving.

    Taking cell phones out of the hands of drivers won’t solve anything for bad drivers will still be bad drivers regardless.

    What might help is getting anyone not paying attention to have extra driving defensive driving lessons and re-certification as a driver. That punishes those that drive bad targeting the actual problem drivers rather than targeting us all assuming we are all guilty of bad driving just because we have a phone or other device in our hands.

    How many times have you NOT reported a bad driver? Now that you know about the due attention provisions of the BC MVA will you actually report bad drivers? I really wonder if you will.

    The logical extension of your argument Larson is that because anyone died in a traffic accident we all should be prevented from driving at all. It’s just insane to punish the rest of us for the crimes of some.

  3. Matt said

    I agree with your statements and sadly I was a victim of being caught on my cell phone. As you seem to be very knowledgeable on this topic of legal rights, what could I use to help my benefit of the doubt next week in court? I see where you are coming from and agree very much.

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